New research shows that
cognitive behavior therapy is superior to the sleeping pill zopiclone (IMOVANE) for treating short- and long-term insomnia
in adults. During the course of the research, patients receiving cognitive behavioral
therapy improved their sleep efficiency (percentage of time asleep while in bed) from 81.4 percent before treatment to 90.1
percent after six months. By comparison, patients in the zopiclone group experienced
a decrease in percentage of time asleep from 82.3 percent to 81.9 percent over the course of the study.
published the results of the study in the June 28 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The study was funded in part by the University of Bergen in Norway
and the Norwegian Foundation for Health and Rehabilitation.
Zopiclone is not available
for sale in the United States, but it has been available in
85 other countries since 1987. However, the sleeping pill eszopiclone (LUNESTA),
which is very popular in the United States, is a very similar
drug. Eszopiclone and zopiclone include the same drug, but zopiclone also includes
a mirror image version of the eszopiclone—such combination is called an enantiomorphs.
Enantiomorphs mixtures are, when adjusted for potency, essentially the same as the other form which only has the most
active form of the two mirror image. Espzopiclone was listed as a Do Not Use
drug in the July 2005 Worst Pills, Best Pills News. More than three million prescriptions
were dispensed for this drug in 2005, with sales that exceed $250 million in 2005.